Charlie Croker ( Mark Wahlberg) has assembled the best of the best to pull of one last job. With him are:
John Bridger (Donald Sutherland) - Hands down the best safer cracker in the world
Left Ear (Mos Def) so named because his hearing is gone from his right ear because of his love for explosives. He can blow up anything.
Handsome Rob (Jason Statham) who isn't that handsome, but sometimes all one needs is charm and an accent. He is a master of mobile things - cars and boats specifically.
Lyle (Seth Green) - if a computer runs it, he can hack it.
and lastly Steve (Edward Norton). He special talent is being a backstabbing weasel.
The last job is to steal 35 million dollars worth of gold bricks from the home of some guy in Venice. It is never really made clear who this person is and why he has that much gold inside of his house, but it's there and Charlie and his crew want it.
After they successfully liberate the gold, Steve turns around and steals the gold from them, killing John and thinking he killed the others. This doesn't set to well with Charlie and his remaining crew. With Steve thinking they are all dead, Charlie takes the next year planning his revenge. All he needs to do is convince the best safe cracker in the world to join his team. This person is none other than John Bridger's daughter, Stella - problem is she is on the good side of the law. Once Stella is on board they have to figure out how to get the gold, but how do you outsmart someone who knows your every move?
This was one movie I was not expecting to like at all. Imagine my surprise when I walked away completely happy that I'd watched it. It wasn't the movie in its entirety that reeled me in. It was all the clever little things. Like realizing that Mos Def was playing a character mostly deaf. Or Lyle insisting that he was the originator of Napster (named as such because he was napping when his roommate stole it from him) and he is verybitter about the idea being stolen from him. Or even half the stuff that comes out of Handsome Rob's mouth. And who would have thought to use souped up Mini Coopers as a getaway cars? The sheer lunacy of that made for jaw dropping awe when it worked.
I was pleasantly surprised by Wahlberg's portrayal of Charlie. He gave this character an understated subtlety that was perfect.
There are a few problems that I had with the movie. Edward Norton seemed to not have his heart in the role. He looked a little bored and he didn't seem to be giving it his all. Also the orchestrated traffic jam was supposed to be a major plot to device, but it just looked like normal Los Angeles traffic to this southern Californian.
This is a good ole heist film and worth the price of admission.
Italian Job will not leave you feeling as if you've had one pulled over on you.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2003
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